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PowerSchool and parent emails

Hi all,

(I have tried to include everyone who's involved with entering and updating student info in PowerSchool, OR who communicates directly with parents via SchoolMessenger. As always, please pass this along to anyone I might've missed.)

​Executive summary: Here is how to find the families who currently would NOT RECEIVE the InfoSnap summer email nag:

​1. PowerSchool start page, search for


literally, "email1​ equals (nothing)" 

​Those are the (hopefully very few) families in your school ​where you should probably take a second look at the parent email situation, and either move email2 to email1 (if they're a nuclear-esque family), OR mark them for "followup by phone or mail in the summer" if they really have no email or if they have a problematic custody situation. Explanation below.

​As you probably already know, we store and use a maximum of two guardian email addresse​s for each student. These are found on the Contact Info page of PowerSchool, on the right-hand side, labeled "PRIMARY Info Email" and "SECONDARY Info Email". The actual underlying field names are "email1" and "email2".

When we do the Big InfoSnap Nag this summer, that nag is ONLY going to be sent to email1 -- the Primary. That helps us avoid the situation where divorced/estranged/non-custodial contact #2 interferes with the InfoSnap update before primary contact #1 has the chance to do it.

Here's a potential pitfall scenario that you need to watch out for: Tommy Smith comes from a leave-it-to-beaver family. Dad is John Smith and mom is Susie Smith. Dad has an email account, mom does not specify any email address (they probably share dad's.) Your school may still have paper forms that ask for "Contact 1 email" and "Contact 2 email." The family puts down Susie as Contact 1 and John as Contact 2. You receive the form and begin to transcribe the data into PowerSchool, and you rather naturally assume that you should enter into the Secondary Info Email slot, since contact 1 (mom) didn't specify an email address. But, now, the Smith family will NOT receive the InfoSnap nag, because their email1 field is blank. So this is not ideal. 

Therefore, it is my belief that, if both parents have custody, and they only provide one email address, you should treat that as "the family email address" regardless of which parent's name it reflects, and you should put it in the Primary Info Email box. Screenshot for clarification (click for bigger):

IF the family is more "split" -- i.e. contact 1 (single mom) really is the primary, but has no email, and contact 2 (estranged dad) should not receive the InfoSnap nag because only mom should be allowed to do that, THEN you WOULD leave Primary Info Email blank. You still need to get in touch with that mom somehow to get the annual forms done, via InfoSnap OR paper. 

For reference, the InfoSnap preregistration form asks for a single "primary email address" and sticks it in the email1 field of PowerSchool. They can add a 2nd email later when they do the long form.